“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one” — Oscar Wilde.
At no other point in the past has this quotation reverberated more truly for myself. Unfortunately for me, Wilde’s musing is a lot less imaginary and far more real.
Since I published my last blog, which documented, “Hunting For A Job In Silicon Valley” there have been a few ups and a few downs.
The response that I received to my first blog was incredibly encouraging. At one point my blog was the second highest trending story on Hacker News. I received a vast amount of commentary, feedback and advice both here on Ongig and on Hacker News.
The discussion amongst members on these online technical communities offered me a new slant for my job hunt. I started to see my inbox fill with more relevant emails. This correspondence ranged from recruiters, to startup companies, to individuals who had similar experiences during their own job hunt.
The response amongst my peers and friends on social media was very heartening. Almost instantly the guys at Ongig inquired as to whether I was interested in doing some sort of follow up piece which again was positive.
What Did I Learn?
I thought it would be good to give a brief rundown of the advice and feedback I received following my first blog:
- One recurring piece of feedback I received was to start researching startup companies that I am interested in and email them directly. I was advised to forget the big job boards (Monster, Craigslist, etc.). One quote that I found particularly useful appeared on Hacker News “If I haven’t heard of a company, I probably don’t want to work there”.
- Most responses on Hacker News seemed to be wary of recruiters to say the least. The overwhelming impression I got was to bypass recruiters and start researching sites like Hacker News for reports on potential employment opportunities. Jason Webster actually wrote a nice article on this very point previously for Ongig. See: http://ongig.com/blog/hiring/hacker-news-community-more-powerful-than-recruiters#more-550.
- Another piece of advice I received was to start attending tech meet ups. One poster
went as far to say that tech meetups are a “goldmine if you’re interested in startups.” The resounding message here is to network the hell out of yourself!
- I was also given a whole bunch of useful sites and resources to start exhausting in my job search. These included the following: CrunchBase, GitHub, Stackoverflow, Startupers and Indeed.com. I was also told to get myself on Twitter.
- Finally, many people offered their help and counsel more directly. I received a couple of emails from individuals involved with startups. One startup wanted me to come in for a demo of their project; however the position was a bit too technical for my current repertoire of skills and experience. Another individual referred me for a position within his startup. A few people connected with me on LinkedIn and set me up with useful connections here in Silicon Valley. This type of tangible feedback was the most rewarding.
Where Do I Stand Now?
It has been exactly two weeks since my first blog was published with Ongig. Unfortunately these past two weeks coincided with probably the quietest recruitment period of the year, Thanksgiving and the adjacent holiday period.
Over the course of this period I have begun to act on many of the suggestions that I received following my initial blog. I have also started to target startups more directly. However due to the holiday period responses have been slow in coming back.
I have arranged to attend a somewhat technical meet up in downtown SF next week. I am excited by the prospect of being introduced to some relevant technical folks who might open doors in my job search.
I also connected with many of the individuals who very generously offered help and advice, either via email or on LinkedIn. This has lead to one or two referrals. As of yet, however, I have not heard of any update on the progress of these referrals. This can be immensely frustrating. However, I understand that it can be hard to get traction on any potential leads as a result of the holiday period.
On Thursday, I had a phone interview for a Data Analytics position with a wealth management technology company based in Mountain View. The specification for this position is perfect and it is something I am immensely excited by.
All in all, I am still on the lookout for a job here in Silicon Valley. It can be a demoralizing experience. However, I am determined to remain positive. I am also determined to employ the charitable advice doled out to me from responses to my initial blog.
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mervyn-fealy/42/a28/388 and follow me on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/MervynFealy.